The most congested stretch of roadway in the United States is in Chicago, according to the Chicago Tribune on Monday. According to a new study, Chicago’s Kennedy Expressway is the nation’s number one traffic bottleneck of all the jam-packed roadways found throughout the country. The study reveals that the 12-mile stretch of Interstate 90 from south of the newly-named Jane Byrne Interchange at I-290 to northwest of the Edens junction (I-94) is where the bottleneck primarily occurs. More motorists are detained there than any other stretch of roadway in the country. The group that conducted the report is an advocacy group that wants continued federal funding for transportation in the United States.
“Unclogging America’s Arteries,” as the study conducted by the American Highway Users Alliance is called, causes Midwest motorists 16.9 million hours of time of wasted hours behind the wheel. That is equivalent to $418 million having been spent in 2014 in wasted time. Of tremendous concern beyond the wasted time is the waste of fuel. More than 6.3 million gallons of fuel is wasted as cars stand still or creep along the Kennedy Expressway. Without the congestion, says the study, carbon dioxide emissions would be reduced by 133 million pounds a year. Also, accidents are said to be 25 percent higher in the area with current conditions.
Locals who are subjected to the backups will understand the specifics of the study better when it is referred to by local street names. The specific locations involved in the congestion study are from Roosevelt Road on the south end of the stretch of the Kennedy Expressway being cited to Nagle Avenue on the north end. The Jane Byrne Interchange – formerly named the Circle Interchange before being renamed after the former Chicago mayor recently – is where the Eisenhower, Kennedy and Dan Ryan Expressways and Congress Parkway all come together. At the time the results of this study is being released, the Byrne Interchange is being rebuilt to ease some of the congestion. The Illinois Department of Transportation says that the $475 million overhaul which began just recently should be completed in four years.
Following Chicago’s Kennedy Expressway on the list are a number of expressways in the Los Angeles, California area. So, though Chicago has the dubious distinction of being number one, it only had the one expressway on the list of 50 trouble spots. Los Angeles may be the biggest headache for drivers, overall, as it has 12 in the top 50 spots. New York came in third with nine listings. The Washington D.C. area as well as Boston, Dallas, Houston and Miami had three travel spots listed in the 50. Atlanta, Philadelphia and the San Francisco area each had two spots. According to the Philly Voice, the study’s advocates desire a long-term transportation spending bill as opposed to the way legislators are funding transportation in the United States now.